When Sony first released its PSP back in 2005, that handheld was marketed as a way to take “console-like games” on the go. Unfortunately, this was a turnoff for many consumers because they started viewing the PSP’s library as a reason not to buy the handheld. Even John Koller, Sony’s marketing VP, said that the PSP’s “console-like games on portables” was indeed problematic.
In a September 7th interview with Gamasutra, Koller explained that “The issue that happened with PSP is we got overrun with ports…It became very difficult for us to define what made PSP unique. The content development became a bit unstructured or decentralized, in that we got a lot of content that was on PlayStation 2 and got thrown over to the handheld”.
Fortunately he feels confident that Sony has learned from its mistakes with the PSP and is optimistic about the Vita’s future. In fact, he says that Sony is actively taking measures necessary in order to avoid repeating that same mistake with the Vita. Speaking of portable content, Koller said,
“[Portable content] isn’t something consumers play because they’ve left the living room. It’s something that [needs to be] unique, and defines the Vita experience.”
It seems like Sony is moving away from the console ports of gaming and is now moving publishers away from straight ports. The company is focusing on “unique interpretations of popular franchise titles” in order to boost Vita game and Vita console sales. Koller says that Sony is now telling publishers to “follow what Ubisoft is doing with Assassin’s Creed. Follow what Activision is doing with Call of Duty” instead of simply doing a port from one console to another.
Sony is really hoping to further create unique experiences with all their individual Vita titles. Hopefully, the company will be able to consistently and effectively apply this strategy to the Vita in the future.